Today Maia posted on The Jizo Chronicles information about how to support the many beings affected by the gulf oil spill. Because of the urgency of this situation, I've decided to publish Monday's cartoon today (Saturday) so that collectively we can respond as quickly as possible.
I spent several hours today looking into ways to donate and volunteer. Here are some ideas:
Opportunities to volunteer are quite limited. An organization known as Oil Spill Volunteers coordinates volunteer activities on the Gulf Coast. Their site asks those who do not live in a Gulf Coast state to refrain from traveling to the coast - they have adequate volunteers at present.
The Official Deepwater Horizon Unified Command, created by federal agencies, BP, and other businesses and organizations, has links to a variety of state-based volunteer opportunities. Click here for more information. This organization also maintains a Facebook page.
Here are organizations that are working directly on the Gulf Coast and in support of other organizations with a local presence:
Please keep in mind that BP and other responsible companies will ultimately be responsible for the cost of the disaster response. But the need is urgent and these (and other organizations) cannot wait for what will surely be a protracted settlement process.
You might also be interested in the Oiled Wildlife Care Network, a department of the University of California, Davis, Veterinary Medicine Wildlife Health Center, that provides information on supporting oil-impacted animals.
Again, Maia's post earlier today describes a number of ways in which you can help. And she concludes with these moving words from Penny Alsop, a Florida-based student in the Upaya Buddhist Chaplaincy Program:
Send your love. Take action anywhere that you can.
Look at those pictures of oil covered animals and let it break your heart, then take the next steps that make sense to you.
Just please do not forget.
Finally, my friend David Schraer reminds us: Use less oil!